With nine days left before Election Day, "60 Minutes" aired a segment Sunday evening addressing a complex investment tool at the heart of the current financial crisis without fully explaining the presidential campaign ramifications behind the laws that made the market meltdown almost inevitable.
Despite accurately calling credit default swaps "The Bet That Blew Up Wall Street," CBS didn't properly inform viewers that George W. Bush had absolutely nothing to do with the Clinton-signed legislation that deregulated them, and that frequent campaign statements by Barack Obama and Joe Biden blaming the current financial crisis on Bush economic policies are therefore completely false.
The producers also chose not to expose the key Democrats -- most notably House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) -- that voted in favor of this legislation back in 2000 but have in recent weeks dishonestly blamed President Bush for the current crisis.
Instead, CBS's Steve Kroft offered viewers a very general and nonpartisan political background to the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (video embedded right):
The Democrat Party's decisive move to the left in recent years has created a "fierce new anger among many liberal[s]" similar to what is present in "the left-wing blogosphere and MSNBC's evening line-up."
Sadly, this angry, militant, intolerant style, depending upon what happens on November 4, could be "the culture of important political institutions in Washington."
So wrote former Bush speechwriter David Frum in a Washington Post article to be published Sunday (emphasis added, h/t Hot Air, photo courtesy Film Reference):
CNBC's Maria Bartiromo on Thursday excitedly told viewers that an intra-day rally which had brought the Dow Jones Industrial Average from down about 275 to up over 170 was caused by rumors that the presidential race had tightened.
I wonder if these rumors will get reported by Obama-loving press members.
With about fifteen minutes to go in the trading session, the camera found a suddenly happy Bartiromo on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange gleefully saying the following (file photo):
On Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez discussed the congressional races with the editor of the liberal New Republic magazine, Michael Crowley, and asked: "Now, if the Democrats get to 60 seats, as they hope to, what would be significant about that?" Crowley replied: "...in the Senate the other -- the opposition can filibuster. And if you have 60 votes you can basically tell them to 'shut up and we're going to pass our bill, sit down.' So 60 votes is the magic number because the opposition, if they have 41, can draw things out and prevent you from passing a bill so 60 is a magic number and it's one Democrats are really hoping they can get..." Rodriguez never identified Crowley’s liberal leanings and Thursday’s segment marks his forth appearance on the Early Show since July, always depicted as a neutral political analyst.
Throughout the segment, Rodriguez highlighted possible seats that Democrats could gain: "In North Carolina, a seat that's been held by -- for 36 years by a Republican, could be in danger of going to a Democrat, right?" Crowley replied: "It's a sign of the kind of year we're in...North Carolina is becoming a more Democratic state. Democratic registration has just really exploded, outpacing Republicans...there's a lot of Democratic energy in that state right now." Rodriguez moved on to Kentucky: "Kentucky, red state through and through. John McCain will probably get it, but not necessarily Mitch McConnell, who's been there for two decades." Crowley responded: "McConnell, I think maybe seen as tied to the Bush Administration, helping them shepard some of their things through. Supported the bailout bill, which his colleague from Kentucky opposed. He's being tied to special interests. So really dramatic race there."
Spreading the WordAs we reported earlier, former Newsweek reporter Michael Hastings drops one rhetorical bomb after another on the media in a new article for GQ magazine. All of them reinforcing what we already knew, best summarized by Hastings himself: the press's "objectivity is a fallacy."
It has been a horrendous year for the media's credibility, and Hastings's statements only make it worse. "If (it) sounds like I had some trouble being ‘objective,' I did. Objectivity is a fallacy. In campaign reporting more than any other kind of press coverage, reporters aren't just covering a story, they're a part of it-influencing outcomes, setting expectations, framing candidates-and despite what they tell themselves, it's impossible to both be a part of the action and report on it objectively."
Hastings is utterly derisive of both former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Senator and Presidential nominee John McCain, both of whom he covered during the Republican primary. He in fact dreamed repeatedly of doing Giuliani harm as some sort of warped civic duty.
The NBC/MSNBC family of networks has been getting maximum mileage out of Chris Matthews's interview of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) last week. Matthews himself has been recycling clips ever since. This morning, David Gregory narrated a Today show segment about the interview and its aftermath. The only journalist whose views Gregory aired were those of Nick Coleman, columnist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
NICK COLEMAN: I think Michele Bachmann unfortunately is one of those politicians who doesn't understand the boundaries of common sense and sometimes common decency.
Surprisingly, the October 21 "View" mentioned Congressman John Murtha’s "my constituents are racist" comments. Though Joy Behar called it a "stupid thing to say," they were much gentler on Murtha than on Michele Bachmann, who stated that Obama has associated with anti-American individuals.
Joy Behar labeled Bachmann a "red baiter" and alluded to the McCarthy era. Whoopi Goldberg asked "it okay for someone to start attacking your beliefs in your country because you don’t agree with their views?" Sherri Shepherd, who has confused historic time lines, recalls growing up in the McCarthy era before other co-hosts reminded her she was not yet born. Even the token Republican, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, would not defend Congresswoman Bachmann.
Is this a case of labeling one anti-American for a simple disagreement? A transcript of a recent "Hardball" interview demonstrates that she clearly alluded to Obama’s associations, William Ayers and Reverend Wright, who are indeed anti-American.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the same broadcast networks that two years ago could not get enough of the Mark Foley scandal, are offering little to no coverage of Foley’s successor, Tim Mahoney, now embroiled in a sex scandal of his own. The networks on October 21 completely ignored the news that Congressman Mahoney’s wife is now filing for divorce. Fox News’ "Fox and Friends" only provided a brief news read. After co-host Brian Kilmeade read the brief, Steve Doocy editorialized "I think [the Foley] scandal got more ink, didn’t it?"
In related news, Mark Foley himself recently announced his endorsement for Barack Obama. Though Obama won over another Republican, it’s a safe assumption it will not receive the same news coverage as Colin Powell.
Update: Mark Foley issued a statement denying his support for Obama:
Time Magazine editor at large Mark Halperin appeared on WLS AM radio in Chicago this morning with Don Wade and Roma to discuss politics as he does every Monday. In one of the better moments in radio Don Wade quipped that Halperin was doing stand up comedy after Halperin stated that Rahm Emanuel, Charles Schumer and Dick Durbin would actually prevent Barack Obama from going crazy liberal. (audio here, jump to 5:55)
Don Wade: New Gingrich called it the repo administration, he says if Obama wins, and if he has a moderate House and Senate he would probably be more like a Richie Daley in his administration. But he doesn't have a moderate House and Senate, he has Reed and Pelosi who are far lefties so we are in for a lot of trouble.
What do you think of that idea, that if the House and Senate were moderate that Obama would be more like Rich Daley?
Halperin: Well, I think the House and Senate are going to have a lot of moderates and a lot of liberals. And a lot of liberals in positions of authority. I am currently thinking, although there is speculation on both sides of this, that people like Congressman Emanuel, a friend of your program, and people like Charles Schumer, an others, maybe even Dick Durbin, who is relatively liberal, are going to be looking to work with Congress on behalf of the administration if there is an Obama administration to try to keep him from going crazy liberal. And I think that what will happen.
Story after story on the full-year results for the federal budget refers to the size of the full-year deficit for the fiscal year that just ended on September 30 ($455 billion), and how it compares to last year's deficit ($162 billion).
Almost none of them talk about why the deficit ballooned.
I wonder why?
Could it be because the Democrat-controlled Congress of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid allowed spending to spiral out of control?
Barack Obama’s supporters are whining about any attempt to link their candidate with former Weather Underground bomber William Ayers as “guilt by association” — even though, as National Review contributor Stanley Kurtz points out, the working relationship between Obama and Ayers can more correctly be described as “guilt by participation.”
But today’s Wall Street Journal treats us to a classic case of guilt by association: a front-page profile of the descendants of slaves owned by John McCain’s great-great grandfather before the Civil War. After documenting the poor treatment that the black families (who share the last name “McCain”) received over the past century, reporter Douglas Blackmon tags Senator McCain — whom he places at the family’s former plantation as a young man in the 1940s and 1950s — as out of touch:
Not that any of us here could possibly be surprised -- I say that to head off the inevitable comments asking how we could be -- but a new study from the Center for Media and Public Affairs finds that late-night comedians attack Republicans far more than they do Democrats. In fact, the CMPA found a lopsided 7 to 1 ratio of Republican compared to Democrat jokes. "The total: Republicans, 286. Democrats, 42."
Fox News reported that the CMPA's Donald Rieck found that this current election was "driving it off the charts" with the preponderance of jokes directed at Republicans on late-night TV.
Al Franken has shown himself to be an angry, easily enraged man and after the October 16 Minnesota Senatorial candidate's debate he allowed his overwrought emotional state to send him over the edge once again. After the debate was over and the Media had turned off their microphones and cameras, Franken rushed over to Senator Norm Coleman's table and proceeded to angrily get in his face over some point or another made during the debate. Franken was getting so angry that his own wife had to rush over and force him to back off from a mounting confrontation with Coleman.
This isn't the only time that Al Franken has allowed his seemingly delicately balanced temperament to be tipped to unseemly anger. In fact, he's allowed himself to be driven to physical violence in the past. In 2004, for instance, Franken tackled a disruptive LaRouchie at a Howard Dean speech. He has also been known to get into shouting matches with rally attendees and opponents alike. Not to mention his past usage of intemperate or profane language and mean-spirited use of ridicule in his comedy routines and during his radio shows when he was an Air-America host.
Hot on the heels of Congressman Jack Murtha charging the voters of western Pennsyvania as being racists who will probably hurt Barack Obama in that state comes the breaking news this evening that Murtha has cancelled a scheduled debate set for tonight with his election opponent. Pretty big news but guess what? Your humble correspondent is currently unable to find this stunning information in any mainstream news outlet. All reports of this debate cancellation by Murtha has come entirely from the Blogosphere which the MSM has derided for years as being an "unreliable source" for information. Unreliable source? How about the only source? Since the MSM has once again fallen down on their news reporting job, here are the reports of this Murtha debate cancellation flooding in from the Blogosphere starting with PA Water Cooler:
On the heels of calling his constituents racists, Congressman Jack Murtha (D-Porksylvania) has cancelled his debate with Bill Russell.
Email from Peg Luksik, campaign manager for Bill Russell.
Imagine that Chris Matthews was interviewing the former head of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, someone who helped engineer the election of a Republican House member after the incumbent Dem had been caught in a sex scandal. Now imagine that same Republican was currently stuck in a sex scandal of his own, and just that afternoon a credible report emerged that he might drop out of the race. What are the odds Matthews wouldn't have raised the new scandal with the former RCCC chairman? About as good as Keith Olbermann suddenly endorsing McCain-Palin after tonight's debate, you say? Agreed.
Yet when Matthews had Rahm Emanuel on his show this evening, the Hardball host failed to raise the matter of Tim Mahoney with Emanuel, the hyper-partisan Dem and former DCCC chairman. This despite the Politico's report that Mahoney might be dropping out, he who won Mark Foley's seat after the Republican was forced out of the race in 2006 after sordid details emerged of his text messaging with male House pages.
There was one amusing moment: after defending William Ayers as a "distinguished professor," Emanuel balked at calling him a "good guy" on the grounds he didn't know him. Right.
The Nobel committee can stop looking for next year winner of the Nobel prize in economics and hand the thing right now to Harold Myerson. The WaPo columnist's effort of today, Gods That Failed, is Krugmanesque, reading like an extended gloat at the expense of believers in free markets. Ha-ha, mocks Myerson, your god of unregulated capitalism is dead. Just like Communism failed, so has your system. You half expect Myerson to end with a self-satisfied "nah nah nah nah nah!"
From Myerson's opening paras [emphasis added]:
In 1949, a number of famous writers, among them Arthur Koestler, André Gide, Richard Wright, Stephen Spender and Ignazio Silone, wrote essays explaining why they were no longer communists. The essays were collected in a volume entitled "The God That Failed."
Today, conservative intellectuals might want to consider writing a tome on the failure of their own beloved deity, unregulated capitalism.
There's just one small problem with Harold's hypothesis: it's based on an entirely false premise, one that I'm sure NB readers will quickly spot. The current mess was caused not by too little government regulation, but too much.
A Colombian associate of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is once again linked to FARC terrorists and Marxist Dictator Hugo Chavez with the revelation of damning new messages concerning Colombian Senator Piedad Córdoba that are currently being investigated by Colombian military officials. Once again we have a powerful American politician, this one the Speaker of the House of Representatives, linked to those attempting to institute Marxist regimes to our South. Why does the U.S. media steadily ignore the ties Speaker Pelosi has to Chavez and the terrorist group FARC through her association with Senator Córdoba? Isn't it awfully big news that the Speaker of the House supports a foreigner that wishes to give more power to one of our biggest enemies in this hemisphere and to further the efforts of a decades old terror outfit?
Córdoba, who has worked closely with Pelosi on Colombian and Venezuelan issues, has been linked to terrorists and Marxists in the past and has been a key player in helping undermine her own government. Senator Córdoba is prominently mentioned in these emails and documents as attempting to create a "friends of Chavez" style movement in Colombia. This movement was also organized with the assistance of leaders of the Bolivarian Movement, a FARC sponsored terror group.
Three weeks out from Election Day, surely more Americans are tuning into the Big 3 networks' evening newscasts, right?
In the past two weeks, Big 3 evening newscast viewership has actually declined by 360,000, or 1.6%. What's more, in percentage terms, viewership among "The Demo" of ages 25-54 has declined even further (220,000, down 3.1%).
It was revealed Monday that Democrat Congressman Tim Mahoney (D-Fl.), the man who replaced Mark Foley (R-Fl.) in 2007 after the latter resigned for having sent e-mail solicitations to male pages, has been caught in his own sex scandal with a former mistress who used to work for him.
Given the extraordinary irony involved in the man who campaigned on bringing back to his district "a world that is safer, more moral" now being caught in a seedy affair of his own, one has to wonder just how much attention the Obama-loving press will give to this matter three weeks before Election Day.
This seems especially important given the many weeks of constant media focus Foley's scandal was given prior to the 2006 elections, and just how much that assisted Democrats in winning back the Congress.
As reported by ABCNews.com moments ago (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Chuck Vieth, photo courtesy ABCNews.com):
There has been an unreality in the reports on the falling stock markets for at least the past 10 days. Each day's plunge seems to have been exclusively due to the "global economic crisis" and/or the supposed "freeze on credit."
Oddly enough, the admittedly small bank where I have my business accounts is having absolutely no problem funding mortgage, home-equity, and other loan applications from qualified borrowers -- a fact I confirmed just before posting this entry. With all due respect to the global business press, if there's truly a "freeze," how can that be?
I've put forth an alternative explanation to the media meme a couple of times this week myself, but an editorial at IBDeditorials.com yesterday brought out a major element of what I have been saying much more forcefully and articulately. Remarkably, though the possibility seems pretty obvious to me, and I suspect many others, I have seen no one in the business press covering daily market events even mention the obvious and quite likely alternative that follows.
The editorial, "Investors' Real Fear: A Socialist Tsunami," teases with the plaintive question, "What is it about the specter of our first socialist president and the end of capitalism as we know it that they don't understand?"
If Barack Obama wins this election, there will be absolutely no doubt whatsoever that one of the things that will help push him over the top is massive Democrat vote fraud. It'll make the Democrats that stole the 1960 JFK/Nixon election for Kennedy look like pikers. One example of this massive vote fraud is in the amazing fact that there are now more registered voters in Indianapolis than are actually eligible to vote. News at 11? How about no news at all.
Oh, sure, there have been stories in the media in Indiana covering the vote fraud issue. But almost to a report they are covered as mere charge and counter charge and end up making the GOP look as if they are engaged in just the normal partisan bickering. But no one is reporting the true nature of this vote fraud.
When Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld testified before the House Oversight Committee Oct. 6, the media criticized his wealth and spending amidst financial turmoil in his company and on Wall Street. But conspicuously missing was the story of Fuld's political contributions.
With Virginia as a battleground state in the 2008 election and given Democrat Barack Obama's damaging gaffe earlier this year about rural voters clinging "to guns or religion", a new gaffe by another Democrat should be worthy of media attention. It remains to be seen if the mainstream media will even notice. (h/t Reformed Chicks Blabbing)
Running to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Republican John Warner, former Gov. Mark Warner (no relation) has a healthy lead in recent polls and the admiration of a pliant media. Yet an audio recording of Warner at a Democratic Party gathering caught the candidate disparaging gun owners, home schoolers, and religious conservatives as "threatening to what it means to be an American."
Republican opponent and former Gov. Jim Gilmore has a campaign ad (embedded below the fold) that features the audio:
Washington Post metro columnist Marc Fisher treated readers of the October 2 paper to a look at outgoing "moderate" Republican Wayne Gilchrest (1st District-Md.), who was felled in a primary contest back in February by a conservative state senator backed by the fiscally conservative group Club for Growth.
Fisher dutifully documented and then applauded not only Gilchrest's disillusionment with Sen. John McCain and his disdain for the GOP's conservative base, but of the American middle class at-large, whom he charged as obsessed with "comfort." (emphasis mine):
Wayne Gilchrest, the nine-term Republican congressman who represents Maryland's Eastern Shore and parts of Anne Arundel County, has had it, and he's ready to talk.
He's had it with his own party, which he says "has become more narrow, more self-serving, more centered around 'I want, I want, I want.' " He's finished with his party's presidential candidate, John McCain, who Gilchrest says "recites memorized pieces of information in a narrow way, whereas Barack Obama is constantly evaluating information, using his judgment. One guy just recites what's in front of him, and the other has initiative and reason and prudence and wisdom."
Granted the focus of today's news is overwhelmingly on the bailout and the presidential race, but there is also big news on how Americans are now seeing the war effort. The pendulum has swung from despair to hopeful belief and this is important news that impinges on the elections.
Rasmussen released new data on September 30 that shows that more Americans are now viewing the war as a success and a growing number think that things will get even better in the near future. This is the highest support that Rasmussen has seen since they began to report on this issue. Curiously, news of the war has completely dropped off the radar of the Old Media.
Giving a pass to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her failure to cajole enough Democrats to vote for the bailout agreement, Newsweek's Daniel Gross blamed the minority Republican conference, accepting without skepticism the argument that a partisan speech by the San Francisco Democrat caused some Republicans to vote "nay" out of spite alone:
Was the bailout bill killed by malice or by incompetence? It's hard to argue against incompetence, since it has been so rampant, especially on the Republican side of things in Washington. The congressional leadership and the White House clearly lacked the heft-or the energy-to whip recalcitrant members into line.
Conservative opposition to a federal bailout of financial institutions is over campaign donations, not a desire to uphold sound market principles, according to CNBC.
CNBC's chief Washington correspondent John Harwood said Sept. 25 on "Squawk Box" that he had a conversation with "a top Republican member of congress last night" who told him the resistance among conservatives to the $700 billion bailout plan is in part due to Wall Street donations to Democrats.
"‘A lot of our guys have decided that we hate Wall Street ... because they're giving a lot of money to Democrats right now,'" Harwood said he was told by an unnamed source.
"We've talked about how nice the bi-partisan coming together of the far left and the far right to oppose this plan. It was heartwarming, right? That finally brought the fringe elements of both sides together on this," co-host Joe Kernen joked.